BAE Systems selects Mahindra for ultra-lightweight howitzer
Demonstrating its commitment to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s call to ‘Make in India’, BAE Systems has down-selected Mahindra as its business partner for the proposed in-country assembly, integration and test (AIT) facility for the M777 ultra-lightweight howitzer. India and the United States are in discussions for a foreign military sale (FMS) of 145 M777A2 LW155 howitzers for the Indian Army. BAE Systems looks forward to working with Mahindra in the coming weeks to finalise details of this AIT facility and to negotiate the terms of its contractual arrangement.
In 2015, the company developed and submitted a US Government-supported proposal offering a higher degree of indigenisation on the M777 weapon system. The highlight of this is the commitment to establish AIT capabilities in India in partnership with a domestic Indian company.
The selection follows a detailed assessment of Mahindra’s ability to fulfil the requirements and provide the best value to the M777 India programme, and in the future, grow its capability as a strategic partner for BAE Systems in India.
Dr Joe Senftle, Vice President and General Manager, Weapon Systems, BAE Systems Inc, said: “As a founding partner of defence manufacturing in India, BAE Systems is pleased to partner with Mahindra on our offer to develop an assembly, integration and test facility in India. The facility is a fundamental part of the M777 production line. A domestic assembly, integration and test facility will enable the Indian Army to access maintenance, spares and support for the M777 locally. We will continue to support the two governments to progress to contract agreement so that we may begin the process of ‘Make in India’ for M777.”